Climate change and the Big Ask

ABeing lobbied by local Friends of the Earth supporters as part of their Big Ask campaign few days ago I was lobbied by members of the local Friends of the Earth group about climate change.

This is a BIG issue as up and down the land we try and get the Government to put the Climate Change Bill into the Queen’s Speech. The lobby group had brought with hundreds of postcards all individually filled by members of the public lobbying MPs (in this case me) to put pressure on the Government to do so. (You can read more about their campaign on the Friends of the Earth website).

As the Lib Dems lead the field on environmental issues and have already challenged the Government to bring in the bill it was an absolute pleasure to meet this committed group who understand that climate change is the big issue for all of us and that the next ten years are absolutely key. The Government must set and meet by statute targets on carbon emission reduction.

I had already written to T Blair and D Millibland on the subject – still waiting for a response. But will write again – and also ask that the Al Gore film be shown in Parliament.

I have sent out with my army of volunteer deliverers around 15,000 letters urging local people to see Al’s film An Inconvenient Truth. It is the best case and the best illustrated case to date. Just go and see it. The film will do its own convincing.

0 thoughts on “Climate change and the Big Ask

  1. I’m afraid that Al Gore’s film was good cinema but poor science. Politicians seem all too ready to jump on to the ‘climate change’ bandwagon and there is a real risk that people become misled and policies become irrational.It is reasonable to limit harmful emissions but only because this can be seen to be a worthy aim in itself – not because of spurious scares about global warming and climate change. Only by having a rational and truly scientific approach to these issues can appropriate policies be defined which make environmental and economic sense.The claim that climate change from man’s CO2 emissions is not only the greatest threat to the planet but also an immediate one over a timescale of a few years is fanciful and dangerously misleading as a basis for defining government policy.Please let us have a measure of common sense applied.

  2. I also saw the Al Gore film, and it didn’t look like poor science to me. Sure, there were some theatrics and personal propaganda thrown in, but the underlying argument and evidence presented looked pretty strong to me.The threat may not be immediate – but it does *not* look fanciful, and even if it’s 50-100 years away rather than 5-10, I agree whole heartedly with Gore that it demands a response now. And it is reasonable to suspect that there is already a degree of increased risk of climate-related disasters – the statistics on hurricanes and typhoons demonstrate that amply.I’d be delighted to hear a valid rebuttal of what Gore is saying. Simply labelling it as a bandwagon and presenting no contrary evidence does not constitute a robust rebuttal.

  3. The statistics on hurricanes and typhoons are probably the weakest evidence of all – for instance, sea surface temperatures in the hurricane spawning region and hurricane intensities were both on a declining trend from the 1940’s to the 1990’s during a period of increasing atmospheric CO2.Al Gore’s selecton of statistics is highly biased in other areas too. The net amount of frozen water in the Antarctic is currently increasing as the amount of snow accumulating in the centre outweighs that being lost at the fringe therefore undermining his scare stories about imminent flooding of Florida etcIt is an observable fact that CO2 levels have been increasing and that we have had some recent very small increases in average world temperatures – but great care must be taken in establishing causes and effect and in making predictions about future climactic conditions.The greatest care must be taken not to let this argument be overtaken by political opportunism.